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Over 100 New Species Discovered Near Chile

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

A deep-sea expedition led by the Schmidt Ocean Institute has revealed over 100 new species discovered along an underwater mountain range near Chile. This incredible discovery highlights the vast unexplored territories of our oceans and the incredible biodiversity that lies beneath the surface.

The Nazca and Salas y Gómez Ridge

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

The expedition, lead by marine biologist Javier Sellanes, focused on the Nazca and Salas y Gómez Ridges, an underwater mountain range stretching about 1,800 miles, surpassing the length of the Himalayas. Its tallest peak reaches over 2 miles high, rivaling Japan’s Mount Fuji. Utilizing a 4K camera-equipped remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the team delved nearly 3 miles below the ocean’s surface, capturing the first glimpses of potentially over 100 new species.

Over 100 New Species Discovered

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

The new species discoveries ranged from ethereal sponges to vibrant coral, enigmatic crustaceans, and mysterious mollusks, each adding a new thread to the rich tapestry of marine life. Among the captivating finds was a delicate-looking sponge, radiating an almost ghostly presence in the deep blue. A bright red whiplash squid and a peculiar red sea toad, known as Chaunacops coloratus, were also among the highlights, showcasing the diverse adaptations of deep-sea life.

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

Seamounts: Islands of Biodiversity

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

The exploration also revealed four previously unmapped seamounts, emphasizing the importance of these underwater mountains as biodiversity hotspots. These seamounts not only serve as home to a myriad of marine species but also play a crucial role in ocean circulation and nutrient distribution. The discovery of these seamounts could greatly contribute to our understanding of deep-sea ecosystems and their conservation.

Beautiful New Species

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

Among the ROV footage brought back were images of a spiraling coral and a congregation of sea urchins, showcasing the deep sea’s natural artistry. These findings highlight the vulnerability of such ecosystems to threats like fishing and deep-sea mining, highlighting the urgent need for their protection.

Watch: 100 New Species Discovered

YouTube video
Seamounts of the Southeast Pacific| 4K ROV HIghlights, Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Schmidt Ocean

A Call for Conservation

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s discoveries underscore the critical importance of establishing marine protected areas to conserve these unique ecosystems. The diversity observed during the expedition emphasizes the potential of the Nazca and Salas y Gómez Ridge as a marine protected area, ensuring the safeguarding of its unique inhabitants for future generations.

Conclusions

Over 100 deep-sea species discovered
Image by Schmidt Ocean via Youtube

This expedition not only broadens our knowledge of the deep sea but also serves as a reminder of how little we know our oceans. As we continue to explore these hidden realms, we unlock the mysteries of our planet’s last uncharted frontiers, emphasizing the need for their preservation amidst the challenges of climate change and human activity. The journey of discovery and conservation is far from over, with each expedition revealing more about the complex web of life that thrives in the depths of our oceans.

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